How to sell your ideas more effectively

A technique to help creative and marketing people to write presentations and copy that connects with all thinking styles to sell your ideas or client’s products. Using a system that is proven to enhance learning and to convert learning into action, we can apply it to marketing to get the best work made.

“Get the best work over the line”

Build a compelling case to get desired outcomes more effectively and more consistently

Connect with all thinking styles & personality types (and not just those the same as you)

Communicate in the right order to retain all listeners/readers for as long as possible for greater engagement

4Mat is a learning system used to connect with all thinking styles to assist with learning retention and to turn learning into action. Created in 1980 by world leading learning expert Bernice McCarthy this system is based on discoveries from many different learning studies. The fundamental principal is the understanding and identification of four main learning types. It is important to follow the order spelled out here, specifically, to capture the most quick thinking types first, to deliver the details that each thinking type needs in order to make a decision and act.

We propose this system is applied effectively for marketing copy and for presentations for more effective communications and to turn learning into action.

This diagram below explains the four different types, and aligns them with the brain hemisphere that is dominant for these thinking types, in order. More on this system is available here.

This format (4Mat) is designed to tap into both left and right brain thinking and all stages of the learning cycle defined as Experiencing, Conceptualising, Applying and Refining. You can use this for copy strategy too. In a nutshell, it is only 5 simple steps and must be in this order:

  1. Purpose – understand the purpose of the presentation or copy and spell it out clearly
  2. Why? – Why does the reader or listener need to listen to you? What benefit is it to them?
  3. What? – What is the the product you are selling? What is the process or what is it about?
  4. How? – How does it work? Use case studies and examples to support this? How does the execution or tactical work support the overall objective of the ‘Why?’ above
  5. What If/Else? – What could go wrong and how will you counter it? What objections could there be and how do you overcome them? Is there something else that would make a difference?

4 Mat overview

For Pitch Credentials:

A lot of presentations begin with the company overview and the services offered, and often with a lot of fanfare about how amazing the company is. Beginning with this is in part answering the ‘Why?’ proposed in this work book, however the failing is that it is all about YOU and not about your customer and what’s in it for them. Shifting your thinking to be about what you customer gets out of engaging in the presentation or ad will get them to click into gear and look for validation of why they want to buy into your ideas from the beginning.

Another problem area is that creatives use their case studies as a showcase and sometimes jump straight to them at the front, but often don’t use them to explain the relevance. A good place for case studies is in the ‘How?’ section, using them as explanation of how you have helped other brands and how you anticipate the same thing working for them. Ultimately, everything should be about the listener or reader and your credentials are not there to rave about how good you are, but how you can help them with case studies as the proof of that.

Ideas Don’t Really Sell Themselves:

Good ideas when finally executed should sell themselves or something is up. However when it is simply a concept or in presentation form and the team is receiving this for the first time, they need to understand the context. You can keep it short and still follow this process. A sentence or two may be all you need.

The ‘Why?’ may be related to the brief or the strategy, and which parts of that you expect to trigger with the concept you are about to present. The ‘What?’ could be to explain if you are going to present a single concept or a campaign and what format it is such as a TVC to 30” or a radio ad to 15”. You can even show the concept itself at this point. The ‘How?’ may relate to the executional factors, the treatment, or the amplification and campaign roll out. ‘What If?’ could be to counter any objections or mis-step in the research that may impact this, how it can extend to other channels, how it can be
campaignable, or appease any concerns about costs.

It’s different, but works:

This isn’t a strategy or process that typical copywriting courses use, however many of those standard lessons can be overlayed to fit in this system. Just because there are conventions in place and it seems like everyone has been doing them, this doesn’t make it right.

This format is based on proven learning research and with an understanding of human behaviour and what makes us move to action, and it is time that the best creative adopted this to take on the learning from other industries. When the listeners and readers are cluttered with content and our brains can only process 7 +/- pieces of information at any one time we need every advantage we can get. If we want to be as effective as we can, we need to perform at the top of our game and to be open to new discoveries and science. Ultimately, the true test is in the results. Try it for yourself and see the results. Or perhaps split test? Then you will know with certainty.

Another way to look at this is to use this format as a checklist to see if your work is compelling before going to your client, and if not – it may not be the right creative execution for the brief.

Suits&Sneakers is dedicated to producing great ideas. We care about the content we produce having a sound strategy in place that is customer-centric, and  with understanding of people through neuro-linguistics and principles of psychology.

If you would like a presentation to your creative team or marketing team to help get the best ideas over the line please contact Anne Miles.